Friday, 28 October 2011

Living Life in God's Time!

Peter Lockhart

Last weekend I attend a conference entitled “Questioning God: Faith & the New Atheism in Australia”. It was a timely reminder for me as to the hope expressed in our Kairos vision of “Living life in God’s time!”

To live life in God’s time is to become disciples of Jesus Christ and both witnesses to and participants in God’s mission and ministry in the world. The journey into an intelligible discipleship takes some time and commitment, especially in the context of this complex world in which we live.

One of the highlights of our conference was the speech delivered by Kristina Keneally “God is back – but does it matter” (see ABC Religion & Ethic website). In response to her paper a person commented on the ABC website, “I don’t know who said it - it was prophesied in the 70's that a time will come when faith will be 100 miles wide and 1/2 inch thick - It was also said that we would have the ear of the world and nothing to say - I think we're nearly there.”

As Christians in Kairos being called to live in God’s time I believe involves us in a journey of deepening our faith so that we do not achieve the irrelevance expressed by the commenter.

As we seek to expresses our hope living life in God’s time (kairos) I encourage you to continue to grow, as my old school motto suggested in fide scientiam (to our faith add knowledge).

Apart from recommending the ABC website, here are some books for those seeking a deeper exploration: “The Twilight of Atheism” & “The Dawkins Delusion” Alistair McGrath; “Atheist Delusions” David Bentley Hart; “Patience with God” Tomas Halik; “And Man Created God” Robert Banks; “Faith & its Critics” David Fergusson; and “A Sceptics Guide to Atheism” Peter S Williams.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Way of Life

Gabriel Manueli

In his book Doctor in Papua (1974) Berkeley Vaughn writes of his contact with the Kunikas, a tribe of mountaineers in the Owen Stanley range. No girl of this tribe would ever lower herself to marry her suitor until he had committed a murder. If he killed a man then he established his manhood. There the men of those villages would stalk and kill a complete stranger on sight. How then to completely change this, destructive taking of lives in these mountains? Clearly it was not to rush in with ideas, doctrines or ethical teaching, or to lay down sets of rules. It could be done only by linking these men to the Great Spirit, as they themselves called their idea of God. Vaughan expressed the challenge. There were no words for love or honesty or unselfishness in their language. But the missionaries could speak of friendship and unity, words these people did know, and demonstrate what they meant by living them out on their own lives. The days passed, and there came about a whole new way of life in those villages, For the men and women both gave up beating their children, and started to offer food to their enemies and even to ask for forgiveness for their former resentment, heated and violent acts.“A whole new way of life”, Vaughan’s phrase, translates the word mishpat (RSV justice ), and asking forgiveness and offering food to one’s enemies illustrates the word tsedaqah (RSV righteousness). The psalmist declares here that such are the acts of the holy God. In the Fijian language the Bible is called Ai Vola Tabu, the “taboo” book! “Don’t touch" too sacred for that. How difficult it is, we can see, to interpret the Christian faith to people who have no contact with the new way of life. The human language cannot fully express the gospel. First and foremost the other man must see the meaning of the fullness of life in the life style of the evangelist. Psalm 99.